Sat. Mar. 6, 2021 – no Hamfest for YOU!

Supposed to be a nice day today.   Yesterday started with light misty drizzle, got sunny and warm, and then ended with drizzle.  Don’t know yet how today will play out.  I’m cautiously optimistic.

Friday was full of the normal stuff.   I did a bit more cleaning up and putting away.

I consolidated some stored gasoline into fewer cans as I put them back in the storage cabinet.  I took the opportunity to get the water out of the cans too.   One I just stopped pouring before the water came out, the other I used my pump to suck it off the bottom of the can.   I’ve got a can dedicated to ‘dirty gas’ that collected the stuff left in the cans or pumped out.   In a pinch I can pump the gas off the top and avoid the water and sediment that settles.   Most of the time I just use it as a cleaner or hold it for disposal later.  The little hand pump has been so useful during this disaster that I am going to stock a couple more.  They’re cheap, and are a versatile tool.

Speaking of ‘cans’, I’ve had several plastic five gallon cans fail in the same way.  They are name brand cans, so it’s not a quality issue, but a design one.   The welded seam at the top of the can, in the ‘handle’ part, breaks open.   It’s hard to even tell that it isn’t sealed, and the can is still useful short term, but water and air can get in, and gas and vapor can get out through the crack.  I suspect that something in hand oils might contribute to the problem, or it could be a manufacturing issue, but they do separate.  If the can doesn’t puff up when hot, pressure is getting out somehow, and air can get back in.    Check your stored cans.   (and for this reason, I no longer buy them used to save a few bucks, because they’ve already got age on them and the clock is ticking)

The post title refers to the Greater Houston Hamfest, which was cancelled for 2021.   In 2020 it was the last public exposure I had before locking down for wuflu.  I was worried, but the swapmeet is outside, and I set up so my back was to the wind, blowing everyone else’s germs away from me.   In about 8 or 9 days it’ll be one full year of this pandemic.   Time flies and it drags.   I buy radio stuff all year with the intention of selling it on the one day at the Hamfest swapmeet in early March.  While I haven’t been buying as much radio stuff, I do still have  a bunch to sell.   I’ve talked to one of my local auction houses and he was agreeable to doing  a sale that featured radio gear, sometime this month.     I might sell stuff, but I won’t have the chance to spend the day chatting with other hams, and seeing some people I only  see at the Hamfest.  They’ve scheduled 2022 for March 4th and 5th.

As others have pointed out, the lockdowns have severely limited out ability to meet in groups, which has some benefits for an oppressive government, or a larger group that wants to limit the spread of information or ideas.   Without the ability to get together in an unmonitored environment and compare notes, the lies and lies by omission can spread and ‘soak in’ to the culture to the point where they are very hard to challenge or dispute.  When all your interactions with people are mediated (literally) they are also more easily controlled.   Consider too, that when people gather in larger groups, or public social environments, they are exposed to a much wider variety of beliefs, ideas, and experiences than if they are sitting at home on a computer.  I don’t think it was intentional at the beginning, but I think too many ‘powers that be’ realized the advantages and shaped policy and reality to their own ends.   This is especially visible in the inconsistency in applying the policies.   This activity is verbotten, but this identical situation is allowed if it’s something we WANT people to do.

There will never be a ‘return to normal’.   There never has been, and there really can’t be, because we are changed by our experiences.  Start planning and prepping for what comes NEXT.    Stacking will probably help.

 

nick